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#1 MorganNalley

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Posted 01 July 2017 - 10:14 PM

I use RM 7 on a desktop at home and on a notebook when I am on the road. The database file is on Google Drive so both computers can access the same data. I also keep media for sources on google drive. Unfortunately, when I change between the desktop and the notebook, the links to the media needs to be updated. RM 7 seems to want the media file to be a static or fixed location. Any thoughts or suggestions for portability without resorting to a USB drive?



#2 mjashby

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Posted 02 July 2017 - 03:47 AM

What you are trying to do will only work without having to relink images if the 'Paths' to your Google Drive folder are identical on both computers. The same would apply using an external USB drive, i.e. it would have to be recognised by the same Drive 'Letter' on both computers, as RootsMagic uses Absolute Path Naming rather than Relative Path Naming, which would make life far simpler when using more than one computer.

 

So, the first thing to check is the full paths to your Google Drive Folder, including the UserName used on both computers. Are these identical?  The most likely difference is probably in the UserNameID on each computer which 'completely messes up' any absolute path structure imposed by software.

 

Mervyn


MJA

"A Mac User with Windows & Linux Tendencies"

Windows Genealogy Software: Family Historian 6, Ancestral Sources, RootsMagic 7, Behold, Charting Companion


#3 Jerry Bryan

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Posted 02 July 2017 - 06:00 AM

I'm not presently running in this mode of operation, but I ran in this mode of operation for many years. The problem was that my username was not the same on the two computers and therefore the file path for the media files was not the same on the two computers. So any time I sat down at one of the computers I first had to do the following in RM. Search->Search and Replace->Multimedia filenames and then change the prefix part of the file path that was different between the two machines. The filenames themselves did not change between the two machines, just the folder, so it was the folder part of the file path that was different and had to be changed. It's a fast and easy thing to do, but extremely annoying, especially after the first 99 times that you have to do it. RM badly needs to have a way to locate media files by relative path.

 

I would also point out that GEDCOM exported by RM includes that absolute file path of each each file name. In a way, it's hard to criticize this procedure because it's hard to know what else RM should do. It has no idea what the destination of the GEDCOM is nor how the GEDCOM is going to be used. I can't think of a way to fix this one, and it probably really isn't broken. I just wish there were a better way somehow or other. But within RM itself being used on multiple computers, I think there is a better way, namely relative file paths.

 

Jerry

 



#4 mjashby

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Posted 02 July 2017 - 07:42 AM

It certainly wouldn't cure every problem but, in my opinion, it would be far better if RM used Relative File Paths rather than Absolute File Paths for media links. In that way links to media would always be calculated directly from the location of the RM database (the root position), in the same way that Websites are normally constructed, and existing links cannot then be upset proving the Folder relationship is maintained.


MJA

"A Mac User with Windows & Linux Tendencies"

Windows Genealogy Software: Family Historian 6, Ancestral Sources, RootsMagic 7, Behold, Charting Companion


#5 TomH

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Posted 02 July 2017 - 08:08 AM

This discussion includes in it how I was able to have the media in Google Drive on the C drive of my laptop and on the D drive of my tablet without having broken links for either duplicate of the database. http://forums.rootsm...s/?fromsearch=1

Tom user of RM7630 FTM2017 Ancestry.ca FamilySearch.org FindMyPast.com
SQLite_Tools_For_Roots_Magic_in_PR_Celti wiki, exploiting the database in special ways >>> RMtrix-tiny.png app, a bundle of RootsMagic utilities.


#6 MorganNalley

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Posted 03 July 2017 - 07:39 PM

So, I do have different user names on the two computers.  That is probably the rot cause of my problem.  So, If I set-up the two computers so that the path to the Google Drive is the same on each, that should solve my problem, correct?

 

I am curious about the reliability of syncing the db and the media files to the cloud.  I have not had any problems to date.  Any experiences would be greatly appreciated.

 

 



#7 Jerry Bryan

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Posted 04 July 2017 - 07:52 AM

If the path to the Google Drive is the same on both computers, that should solve the problem. In the longer run, there is a longstanding wishlist item that RM support relative paths to files. That would also solve the problem, but there is no indication if or when this enhancement will be added to RM.

 

There are conflicting opinions on the reliability of syncing the database and the media files to the cloud. I suppose that it depends in part on the reliability of the service. I use Dropbox rather than Google Drives, but I have no reason to suspect that either one is more or less reliable than the other. I think they are both quite reliable. But in any case, I wouldn't depend only on one mechanism for backing up my critical data, e.g., Google Drive serves both as a synchronization tool and to a certain extent as a backup tool, but you need multiple backup tools. I also use OneDrive and Carbonite. In the case of OneDrive, its contents are a mirror of Dropbox and I have to manually sync my Dropbox data to OneDrive. I usually do it once a week. I always work in the Dropbox version of the data and never in the OneDrive version of the data. Carbonite backup is automatic and is more or less continuous (but see below).

 

I would say that for syncing media files, that any of the mainstream cloud based tools should "just work" without having to give them a whole lot of thought. But the RM database itself is another situation altogether. It really is a "database" and not just a file. Any changes you make are committed immediately and will be backed up to the cloud immediately if the database is in the cloud based storage folder. This can create an enormous load on your network as your computer is constantly trying to make a new copy of your RM database in the cloud, perhaps every few seconds if you are typing really fast. Also, some users have reported database corruption in this environment. I have never seen corruption, but I have certainly seen the excessive network activity.

 

There are several ways to deal with this problem. One is not to have your actual RM database in a cloud based storage folder. Instead, have only your backup files in a cloud based storage folder. If you do it that way (and I ran that way for several years), you have to remember always to backup your RM database when you quit and to restore (not open!!!) your RM database when you start. Or instead of backup files in the cloud, have a working copy of your RM database not in the cloud based folder and a copy for sharing in the cloud based folder, and always remember without fail to copy the database back and forth as appropriate using the Windows file explorer or the equivalent facility on your Mac. I don't know about you,  but I don't trust myself to do that. I make mistakes, hit my head, say things like "Duh!" or "Jerry, you are an idiot", etc., but it doesn't prevent the mistakes. It took me a long time to remember always to restore rather than opening when I was sharing via backup files. So for now, I am keeping my RM database in my cloud based Dropbox folder and pausing Dropbox whenever I'm working in RM. For whatever reason, "Jerry the idiot" seems to  be able to remember to do that. And on the rare occasions when I do forget, the consequences are mild and I certainly don't lose data. I can't speak to the same situation with Google Drive since I don't use it.

 

My use of OneDrive is not a problem with the RM database since my OneDrive data is a static copy of my Dropbox data, and is only updated when I update it, which I do once a week. Carbonite is much less aggressive about when it backs things up than is Dropbox, and usually it only wakes up and backs things up when I've been away from the computer for a while. Therefore, Carbonite simply doesn't have the problem that Dropbox has of excessive backups of my RM database. A missing element of my backup strategy is some sort of thumb drive or external hard drive backup drive, where I store it away from the house. The problem right now is that my "big thumb drive" isn't big enough any more, and I need a bigger one or a removable and external hard disk. I just haven't gotten around to it yet.

 

Jerry



#8 MorganNalley

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Posted 04 July 2017 - 12:19 PM

Jerry, thank you for taking the time to share your file management strategy.  I am going to employ a similar approach.  I have read a few posts that caution against running the db in the cloud, but no one has discussed the reason for the caution.  Thank you.



#9 JimDavis79

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Posted 16 July 2017 - 11:56 AM

Here is an alternative, and it is the way I work.  I have a desktop computer with dual screens, a couple of scanners, etc., and this is my main workstation.  I have a laptop that i use on the road;  just got back from a two week trip.  i maintain the same directory structure on both.  

 

When I switch from one to the other, I synchronize the important directory (example My Documents, which includes the RM7 database and all media files) using Microsoft's SyncToy.  I use the "Echo" option so that changes on either are reflected to the other.  

 

Obviously, the computers are linked across my network.  I also maintain comprehensive backups in the cloud and on portable hard drives.  SyncToy is what I use to differentially back up all six computers in our home.  Incidentally, whenever I sync while switching computers, I'm also creating a backup on the computer I stop using!

 

This has worked very well for me for a couple of years.  Happy to provide more details if desired.


Best regards, Jim

"When you shake my family tree, nuts fall out."